by Jennifer Donnelly


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* "Printz Honor winner Donnelly offers up a stunningly focused story that rips into the heart of familiar fairy tale. Isabelle [is] a shattered but not unreedemable girl with a warrior's heart." — Booklist, starred review

Don't just fracture the fairy tale. Shatter it.

Isabelle should be blissfully happy-she's about to win the handsome prince. Except Isabelle isn't the beautiful girl who lost the glass slipper and captured the prince's heart. She's the ugly stepsister who cut off her toes to fit into Cinderella's shoe . . . which is now filling with blood.

Isabelle tried to fit in. She cut away pieces of herself in order to become pretty. Sweet. More like Cinderella. But that only made her mean, jealous, and hollow. Now she has a chance to alter her destiny and prove what ugly stepsisters have always known: it takes more than heartache to break a girl.

Evoking the darker, original version of the Cinderella story, Stepsister shows us that ugly is in the eye of the beholder, and uses Jennifer Donnelly's trademark wit and wisdom to send an overlooked character on a journey toward empowerment, redemption . . . and a new definition of beauty.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781338268461
Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date: 05/14/2019
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 291
Product dimensions: 5.70(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.30(d)
Lexile: HL640L (what's this?)
Age Range: 12 - 17 Years

About the Author

Jennifer Donnelly is the author of A Northern Light, which was awarded a Printz Honor and a Carnegie Medal, Revolution (named a Best Book by Amazon, Kirkus Reviews, School Library Journal, and the Chicago Public Library, and was nominated for a Carnegie Medal), the Deep Blue series, and many other books for young readers, including Lost in a Book, which spent more than 20 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. She lives in New York's Hudson Valley.

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Stepsister 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Jdp15 21 hours ago
It was really good!
stemandsequins 6 days ago
I NEED A BOOK ABOUT TAVI NOW! Okay I really enjoyed this book. Honestly, I liked all the characters but Tavi was my favorite! I really hope Jennifer will create a novel for her. I'm hoping her map is in Chance's hands. :) The story was a quick read with some humor (pretty much all the scenes with Tavi) and I could not put it down which is rare for me. Usually I can just pick a book up and set it down and read whenever but I had to MAKE time to finish this one in one sitting. There was a sense of urgency in it with Fate and the marquis basically deciding if Isabelle has a future or not. I do wish we could have learned more about the background characters that lived with Chance they seemed interesting so I am going to just hope another book in this world might come out.
MrsBurnett-Gauss 8 days ago
Brava! Beautifully, masterfully written with an expertly paced and completely captivating plot. From a veteran bookworm, this novel isn't just for young adults. I would recommend this neo classical expansion of Cinderella to all ages from the youngest pre teen reader onward and upward. I was moved and inspired.
Valerian70 12 days ago
Okay, Jennifer Donnelly is a completely new write to this reader but I am fast becoming a fan of the reworking of classic Fairy Tales so was eager to give this one a try. I've read quite a few now and the best ones always keep the darkness of the original story and Step Sister is no exception to this; in fact the first time we meet Isabelle and Octavia is when they mutilate themselves to try and get the Glass Slipper to fit - something that oftentimes gets missed from the Cinderella story and was always one of my favourite bits as a child. Throw in a dollop of Greek Mythology with The Fates and the handsome Chance and you know from the opening chapters that you are in for a great story. Let me tell you it does NOT disappoint. This book is all about Isabelle, one of the ugly sisters. We do get to meet her sister Octavia but only see her through Isabelle's eyes and I think she may have been my favourite character - bookish and irascible though she is. we also meet Ella, however briefly, and she does not come across well - self satisfied and smug is probably the best way to describe her but nobody else seems to see that. Things aren't going well for the sisters after Ella is swept away by Prince Charming. Their mother has descended in to madness, they are running low on funds and the townsfolk have ostracised them. Even worse Chance has a bet going with The Crone from The Fates that Isabelle can choose her own path in life and not be dictated to by them and they are both interfering with her life. Throw in the Fairy Godmother (more like a Fairy Nightmare) and her bizarre gifts - a jawbone, a seedpod and a walnut shell - and you just know this is going to be good. The world built is rich in detail and the war ravaging the French Countryside ads just the right touch of dire peril. From wagonloads of moaning wounded to the horrors of Madame Le Benets hayloft there is genuine danger for the sisters. The characterisation is empathetic and multi-faceted and even tiny bit part players feel real in this literary world (yes, I went there - literary!). There is even a nice touch of anthropomorphism thrown in with Mother Mouse and the horses Martin and Nero. Although, I have to admit that calling a horse Martin gave me so much pleasure I grinned every time he got a mention. As with all good fairy tales there is a moral to the story. In this case a rather uplifting one - be yourself and you can achieve anything. It may take guts, it may take determination but follow your heart and who knows where it will lead. This was a fantastically good read and although I only finished it 4 days ago I am already looking forward to picking it back up again as I rushed through at such a gallop that I'm sure I missed things. I think I just found myself another YA author to follow - although I am definitely way outside the target audience (and, I'm not entirely sure that I am an adult even though my age would give lie to that). THIS IS AN HONEST REVIEW OF A FREE COPY OF THE BOOK RECEIVED FROM READERS FIRST.
Barker Jones 13 days ago
The Ugly Stepsisters never get much limelight in most versions of Cinderella, other than to laugh at their misfortunes. Luckily for everyone, this is not a version of Cinderella, not really. This is about what happens afterwards, when Ella goes with the Prince and the Stepsisters are left at home with a mother they were never good enough for. This is mostly Isabelle's story; as a child she was fearless, strong and fast, but not pretty. Never pretty. And in the world they grew up in, not pretty was almost a death sentence. When beautiful Ella came into their lives Isabelle allowed jealousy to poison her heart, but now, left alone and crippled, she realises what she's lost and longs to regain it. This is a wonderful story of redemption and believing in oneself. Isabelle is a wonderful character, surrounded by a cast of other wonderful characters. The interaction between the Marquis and Tantine is one of the highlights of an amazing book. I really enjoyed this book.